Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has secured regulatory approval in France, according to a release from France's capital market regulator, the AMF (Autorité des marchés financiers).
- Binance is now a registered Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP) in France and will be permitted to custody digital assets; facilitate the purchase, sale and exchange of such assets; and operate a trading platform for them. It is Binance's first such license in Europe, according to a company blog post.
- The company is expanding its global operations, having obtained provisional approval to operate as a broker-dealer in virtual assets in Abu Dhabi last month.
- Binance has never previously had a single headquarters owing to its decentralized ethos, something that does not sit well with regulatory bodies, who regard it as lacking accountability. This came to a head last year when a string of regulatory bodies across the world issued warnings that Binance was not authorized to operate in their markets.
- In March and April, the company obtained approval to operate in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
- "When we first started, we wanted to embrace the decentralized philosophy of no offices, no headquarters, no corporate entities,” Binance founder Changpeng Zhao said at the Financial Times’s Crypto and Digital Assets Summit in April. "As soon as you want to get licenses, you have to have the traditional structures, which we do now," he added.
- Binance has invested 100 million euros (US$108 million) in its operations in France, including a partnership with a Paris-based startup incubator Station F. It also has offices in the U.K., where the Financial Conduct Authority said it wasn’t able to regulate the company.
UPDATE (May 4, 16:59 UTC): Adds background information.
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